Should you install preview updates for Windows 10 or Windows 11?

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 25, 2022
Windows Updates

Microsoft releases at least two updates for its Windows 10 and 11 operating systems per month. The first update is rolled out on the second Tuesday of the month; it includes security updates for supported versions of the Windows operating system, and is installed automatically on most Home systems (as this is the default configuration).

windows 10 11 preview optional updates

The second update that Microsoft releases is optional; it is a preview update that includes changes that will be included in the next Patch Tuesday update.  Preview updates are not installed automatically and administrators may need to run manual check for updates using the Windows Update section of the Settings app, download the updates manually, or use other update management systems to install these.

Preview updates do not include security patches for Windows. The optional updates may introduce new features in Windows, fix bugs and issues, or make changes to existing features.

The March 2022 preview update for Windows 10 version 21H2 introduced the new search highlights feature, fixed a heap leak that degraded the performance of domain controllers, and fixed a bluescreen issue on some devices when pairing Bluetooth devices.

Tip: check out Should you install Windows 10's Optional Driver updates, which provides a take on optional driver updates. It has been written for Windows 10, but is valid for Windows 11 as well.

Arguments for installing optional Windows updates

Arguments for and against the installation of preview updates exist. The installation of preview updates may fix issues that are experienced on the system. Having issues resolved weeks early is a strong argument for installing optional updates at times.

Some administrators may also use these optional updates to test the changes before they go live on the second Tuesday of the following month. Testing is limited to non-security patches though, and more testing is required to make sure that the security patches do not introduce new issues. Some users like the idea of having the latest updates installed on their devices.

Arguments against installing Windows preview updates

The main argument against installing Windows preview updates is that any update may introduce issues of its own. Why risk installing updates with issues on a system without any issues? The optional updates should be considered beta updates, as Microsoft uses Telemetry from the early distribution to spot issues that these may create on customer systems.

Preview updates may sometimes introduce changes that users may not want or like. Skipping the preview updates pushes the introduction of these changes back a few weeks.

Closing Words

Preview updates may be useful in certain situations. If they fix major issues that users experience, then it may be useful to install the updates to resolve these issues for the users. Most users may want to ignore optional updates most of the time though, as these may introduce issues of their own on the system, and because they are included in the cumulative security updates that Microsoft releases just a few weeks later.

Now You: do you install optional Windows updates?

Should you install preview updates for Windows 10 or Windows 11?
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Should you install preview updates for Windows 10 or Windows 11?
Microsoft releases optional updates for Windows once per month: should you install those updates on your Windows devices?
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  1. Mark said on July 28, 2022 at 10:49 am

    I have Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC Version 1809 Build 17763.3232 and yesterday clicking on “Check for updates”, Windows Update installed optional Preview-Updates (KB5015880 and KB5016188).

    I was expecting that the installation of optional updates would not happen automatically but that I would be asked whether to install them.

    Is there any way to avoid installing the optional Preview-Updates when clicking on “Check for updates” in Windows Update ?

  2. Hary said on April 29, 2022 at 2:03 am

    Verwenden Sie die portable Version des Tools / Windows Update MiniTool / und potenzielle Update-Probleme werden behoben.

  3. chesscanoe said on April 26, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    For the last 6 months or so I do install Microsoft optional WU fixes, since they have not caused me problems personally. I like running latest relatively safe code such as KB5011831 and its prereq KB5012677. even though the restart resulted in a scary but successful install, as the fan unexpectedly came on for a minute or two. I am at Windows 10 21H2 19044.1682 .

  4. JohnIL said on April 26, 2022 at 11:58 am

    Anything optional I consider beta and so I do not install them. I will wait and let the updates progress to a more stable release. Especially if there is little reason to install any of these updates.
    Updates through normal channels are cringe worthy with Microsoft. Never know what you’re going to get when Microsoft tries to fix something.

  5. Redmondian Purgatory said on April 26, 2022 at 8:00 am

    When you’re in Hell, one more fire doesn’t mean a thing.

  6. Jester The Tester said on April 26, 2022 at 7:58 am

    Every update. Every driver update. Every damn stupid useless feature you got. Bring it. You can’t make it worse than it already is. I take them all the very second they are downloadable, without blinking.

  7. yanta said on April 26, 2022 at 2:47 am

    When was the last time Microsoft released a patch/update that didn’t break something? That was fully functional, well tested and trustworthy?

    I’d venture a guess somewhere around 2014?

  8. Green Hornet said on April 25, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    I usually wait and only apply the regular updates on the second Tuesday of the month. Unless I need one of the fixes that the preview provides, then I’ll install it.

  9. Anonymous said on April 25, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    have you read your readers? the same ones who complain about Microsoft non-stop and windows 11 (even if they haven’t even used it) and apparently are dumb since they don’t even know how to stop Windows from doing X and Y but then install 3rd party crap and then complain how it was a malware or broke their computers when there was a Windows update.

    This seems more like a clickbait article. if the clueless are already screaming Privacy and saying how Windows is privacy nightmare while they have a phone and ‘smart devices’ and trust other operating systems… apparently, then what do you expect to achieve with this article? to attract the clueless people and their fake sense of privacy?

    I mean, some of your readers seem like the are 12 years old, but I am sure they are some people who are old and have cars, imagine all the privacy nightmare that is having a car from the moment they got their license, when they bought a car, when they drive a car with all cameras and stuff, when they put gas in their tank which wouldn’t be hard to track you and what you do, when you do, how you do thing, but they don’t think about that, they think closed-source is the problem and then Windows and the moment everything goes open source, then all the spying will be fixed. Nobody has proven I am wrong, because that’s pretty much what I see around, especially in this site.

    Answer is no, people shouldn’t install these updates, apparently they don’t even know how to read, and you are asking them to read what the PREVIEW updates are about? because you install the preview if they benefit you, not just to install them, I mean, who wants to even restart their computers for an update that won’t bring anything important?

    But supposedly people who scream privacy here, but don’t know how to even use technology to stop what they call privacy nightmare updates and blabla, and ‘fix’ windows or whatever, then I don’t expect they would be able to care about the updates anyway.
    They will be here in the comment section saying how Win11 is blabla, and win10 is blabla, and Microsoft and windows blabla.
    They saw Microsoft in the title so they jump straight to comment section to complain, not because they even read the article.

    Even if I already knew the obvious about the article, I still read it, but I don’t even know what is the point about publishing it when you know your readers are usually ignorant about everything and just talk crap and parrot and have the placebo privacy syndrome where they are blind and clueless but think blocking some scripts and IPs will give them some privacy and they are protected like nobody else would be.

    1. Envy said on April 26, 2022 at 7:54 am

      Wow. Must be amazing to be as clever as you.

  10. klaude said on April 25, 2022 at 7:29 pm
  11. piomiq said on April 25, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    IMO. Windows 11 is too much limited (comparing to W10) in case of user friendly and usability to make it worth installing.
    On top with not configurable bottom bar, not finished dark mode, and other shortcomings.

    1. Anonymous said on April 26, 2022 at 2:15 am

      What do you mean? W11 is exact copy of W10, except for the new stupid right click menu and toolbar. The build version is even still ‘’. It’s not like XP to 7.

      1. Frankel said on April 26, 2022 at 9:19 am

        Haha this, it is a theme pack with telemetry.

  12. Frankel said on April 25, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    I always do a clonezilla backup before any update. Given my bleeding edge hardware and avoiding placebo registry “hacks”, both steered me clear of any issues in years. If you cannot solve it via a group policy then expect funky behaviour.

  13. John G. said on April 25, 2022 at 3:47 pm

    I always apply all kind of updates that MS offers, anyway you will get screwed for something else, so why to wait if the pain is the same? Furthermore, W11 has a weird update problem because the optional drivers updates are in the secondary update section “advanced options” > “optional updates”, and imho they should appear more visible. Thanks for the article! :]

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